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Retire Is a Verb

Jonathan Clements  |  Jan 28, 2023

WE LIKE TO ESCAPE the Northeast’s cold each winter, so we just spent 10 days in Sarasota, Florida. Like many others when they’re on vacation, we found our noses pressed against the windows of real-estate offices, perusing the listings and musing about whether we’d want to live there.
Fantasizing about the future is fun and free, but it can also be dangerous. It’s how folks end up buying timeshares and second homes during wonderfully relaxing vacations.

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Mission Accomplished

Howard Rohleder  |  Jan 27, 2023

I JUST GOT A RAISE from Uncle Sam—and relief from one of early retirement’s biggest unknowns.
In December, when I turned age 65, I swapped my bronze-level Affordable Care Act policy for Medicare plus a Medigap policy. My wife was already on Medicare. Compared to 2020, when neither of us had Medicare coverage, our monthly cost today for health insurance is $684 lower.
My calculated risk has paid off. As a young adult, I set my sights on early retirement.

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A Place to Start

Richard Quinn  |  Jan 11, 2023

I JUST READ THAT the 4% rule is making a comeback. From where, I thought?

Under the 4% rule, you withdraw 4% of your nest egg in the first year of retirement. If you had $1 million, you’d take 4%, or $40,000. In year two, you’d add inflation to your previous year’s withdrawal. Say inflation ran at 6%. You’d multiply $40,000 by that 6% to get the second-year adjustment of $2,400. Add that to the prior year’s $40,000,

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Year In Year Out

Dennis Friedman  |  Dec 29, 2022

WHEN I LOOK BACK at 2022, my wife and I had a good year. We avoided COVID-19 even as we did things we’d been yearning to do for a long time. We enjoyed our time traveling, and visiting family and friends. Even doing the little things that we take for granted was a pleasure. Indeed, this year felt like a return to normal.
Of course, everything hasn’t come up roses. Our investment portfolio is down 12.6% as I write this article.

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Learning to Retire

Kristine Hayes  |  Dec 28, 2022

SEVEN MONTHS AGO—on my 55th birthday—I walked away from a job I’d held for 24 years. That day, I got in my car, left Portland, Oregon, and began a two-day roadtrip to Arizona.
My husband, who retired in 2018, was already living in our Phoenix-area home. I was looking forward to joining him, but I questioned how well I’d adapt to my new life as a retiree.
During my 1,300-mile journey south, I had plenty of time to ponder my future.

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My Ironman Triathlon

Mike Drak  |  Dec 22, 2022

I INVESTED A GOOD chunk of 2022 getting ready for the Ironman triathlon on Nov. 20 in Cozumel, Mexico. A lot of people have asked me why I would even attempt an Ironman at age 68. I tell them I’m investing in my future self.
I know what I want my future to look like, and I’m focused on putting the pieces in place to get me there. My good health is a big piece of that picture.

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He Said I Was 100

Richard Quinn  |  Dec 18, 2022

I REACHED AGE 79 in November. No matter how you slice it, I’m now a senior citizen or, as I prefer to call myself, a seasoned citizen. That became obvious during a recent trip to the supermarket. As I leaned over to check the price of a case of water, a fellow in his 40s asked if he could lift it into my cart.

It was a nice gesture with good intentions, but I silently resented it.

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Riding Out the Storm

James Kerr  |  Dec 14, 2022

THEY SAY TIMING IS everything. That’s something I should know—because I’ve never been very good at it. The motto of Scotland’s Kerr clan is Sero Sed Serio, or Late, but in Earnest. That’s been my reputation since I was young.
In high school, my basketball game blossomed at the end of my senior year, just in time to have one good game of double-digit scoring before I graduated.

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Not My Place

Ron Wayne  |  Nov 22, 2022

LIKE MANY RETIREES, I’ve thought about moving. My two children are living elsewhere, and I have no other family in the Florida city where I’ve resided for more than 17 years. For two years, I’ve researched buying a condo closer to the ocean or even moving to Mexico, where my modest fixed income would go much further. Perhaps I should return to my hometown up north—something two friends from high school have already done.

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Too Much Cash?

Michael Perry  |  Nov 17, 2022

I’VE SPENT THE PAST seven or eight years lamenting our cash position, both the interest it was earning and the size of it. The former was too little, the latter too much.
Some years ago, we sold an investment property with the idea of buying another somewhere we might potentially retire. But as I noted in a recent article, we’ve never been able to settle on where that would be. We were also constantly thinking we were going to move or be moved away from the Houston area,

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Some Now More Later

Richard Connor  |  Nov 16, 2022

MY WIFE VICKY AND I have lately been discussing—yet again—when to claim our Social Security retirement benefits. We’re fortunate to have multiple sources of retirement income, including a defined benefit pension, traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs and two health savings accounts.
To date, we had assumed we’d both delay claiming Social Security until age 70, so we get the largest benefits possible. Until then, we’d planned to live on my pension, any consulting income I earn,

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1,000 Days at a Time

John Yeigh  |  Nov 9, 2022

THREE YEARS AGO, I wrote an article suggesting I had 7,000 days to go, at least according to the Social Security Administration’s life expectancy calculator. The 1,000 days since then represented a significant 14% share of my remaining actuarial life.
The good news is, the Social Security calculator now estimates that my life expectancy is about 6,400 days. I’ve enjoyed 1,000 days of life but only used up 600 days of life expectancy. That’s like a 40% return on life over the past three years.

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When I Get Stupid

Richard Connor  |  Nov 7, 2022

COPING WITH FINANCIAL complexity as we age can lead to major problems—and denial isn’t the solution. What to do? One HumbleDollar commenter, in response to a recent article, recommended a book, What to Do When I Get Stupid, by economist Lewis Mandell.
The book has two main themes. First, we should try to create a guaranteed stream of income, preferably one that’s linked to inflation, to cover our core retirement expenses.

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Free in the World

Michael Perry  |  Nov 1, 2022

YESTERDAY EVENING we went under contract to sell our home of the past 10 years, by far the longest I’ve ever lived in one place. In our neighborhood, the average time on the market is currently 33 days. We’d been on the market for one day and the offer was over asking. We credit this to taking good care of our home, and having a sharp listing agent and staging consultant.
This experience, and what we learned from it,

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Taking It Slow

Michael Flack  |  Oct 14, 2022

IT’S A QUESTION FOR the ages—or perhaps the aged. Since the day the first pension was promised, someone has wanted to know the answer. If you look hard enough, I’m sure it’s referenced in the Bible.
I’m writing this article not to help you answer the question, but to help me answer it. You see, my old employer, Exxon Mobil, has offered me a “onetime lump-sum opportunity.”
I have the option to take a single lump-sum payment of $335,641.85 starting Nov.

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